Mixed Reality Laboratory

MRL at CSCW 2016 

In 2016, the MRL presented seven archival papers at CSCW, the 19th annual ACM conference for Computer-Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing, hosted in San Francisco. The University of Nottingham presented seven papers in total in 2016, more than any other non-US institution.

The lab also co-organised a workshop on Collocated Interaction at the conference.



Archival Papers

A Day in the Life of Things in a Home

This paper is about human interaction with things in the home. It is of potential relevance to developers of the Internet of Things (IoT), but it is not a technological paper. Rather, it presents a preliminary observational study of a day in a life of things in the home. The study was done out of curiosity - to see, given the emphasis on ‘things’ in the IoT, what mundane interaction with things looks like and is about. The results draw attention to the sheer scale of interaction with things, key areas of domestic activity in which interaction is embedded, and what it is about domestic life that gives data about interaction its sense. Each of these issues raises possibilities and challenges for IoT development in the home.


Embeddedness and Sequentiality in Social Media Research

Over the last decade, there has been an explosion of work around social media within CSCW. A range of perspectives have been applied to the use of social media, which we characterise as aggregate, actor-focussed or a combination. We outline the opportunities for a perspective informed by ethnomethodology and conversation analysis (EMCA)—an orientation that has been influential within CSCW, yet has only rarely been applied to social media use. EMCA approaches can complement existing perspectives through articulating how social media is embedded in the everyday lives of its users and how sequentiality of social media use organises this embeddedness. We draw on a corpus of screen and ambient audio recordings of mobile device use to show how EMCA research is generative for understanding social media through concepts such as adjacency pairs, sequential context, turn allocation / speaker selection, and repair.

Stuart Reeves and Barry Brown. 

Read more



MarathOn Multiscreen: Group Television Watching and Interaction in a Viewing Ecology

This paper reports and discusses the findings of an exploratory study into collaborative user practice with a multiscreen television application. MarathOn Multiscreen allows users to view, share and curate amateur and professional video footage of a community marathon event. Our investigations focused on collaborative sharing practices across different viewing activities and devices, the roles taken by different devices in a viewing ecology, and observations on how users consume professional and amateur content. Our Work uncovers significant differences in user behaviour and collaboration when engaged in more participatory viewing activities, such as sorting and ranking footage, which has implications for awareness of other users’ interactions while viewing together and alone. In addition, user appreciation and use of amateur video content is dependent not only on quality and activity but their personal involvement in the contents.

Edward Anstead, Steve Benford, and Robert Houghton.

Read more



Supporting Group Coherence in a Museum Visit

Visiting museums as part of a group poses the challenge of managing engagement with exhibits while preserving group cohesion. We respond to this by reconfiguring the social dynamic of visiting with an experience designed specifically for groups, that invites the group members themselves to design and ‘gift’ interpretations to one another. We present a trial of this experience with groups of family and friends at a museum. We show how groups managed and configured themselves during the visit, revealing the strategies involved in maintaining different group behaviors. We discuss how our design accommodated different visiting styles by making objects social and scaffolding rather than directing the group experience. We interpret our findings to frame group coherence as a flexible and configurable phenomenon within CSCW.


"This has to be the cats" - Personal Data Legibility in Networked Sensing Systems

Notions like ‘Big Data’ and the ‘Internet of Things’ turn upon anticipated harvesting of personal data through ubiquitous computing and networked sensing systems. It is largely presumed that understandings of people’s everyday interactions will be relatively easy to ‘read off’ of such data and that this, in turn, poses a privacy threat. An ethnographic study of how people account for sensed data to third parties uncovers serious challenges to such ideas. The study reveals that the legibility of sensor data turns upon various orders of situated reasoning involved in articulating the data and making it accountable. Articulation work is indispensable to personal data sharing and raises real requirements for networked sensing systems premised on the harvesting of personal data.


Understanding Energy Consumption at Work: Learning from Arrow Hill

Most work around technological interventions for energy conservation to date has focussed on changing individual behaviour. Hence, there is limited understanding of communal settings, such as office environments, as sites for intervention. Even when energy consumption in the workplace has been considered, the emphasis has typically been on the individual. To address this gap, we conducted a study of energy consumption and management in one workplace, based on a combination of workshops with a broad range of stakeholders, and quantitative data inspections. We report and discuss findings from this study, in light of prior literature, and we present a set of implications for design and further research. In particular, three themes, and associated intervention opportunities, emerged from our data: (1) energy wastage related to “errors”; (2) the role of company policies and the negotiation that surrounds their implementation; and (3) the bigger energy picture of procurement, construction and travel.

Ben Bedwell, Enrico Costanza, and Michael O. Jewell.

Read more



Using Mobile Phones in Pub Talk

We present the findings from a study of how people interleave mobile phone use with conversation in pubs. Our findings, informed by ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, unpack the interactional methods through which groups of people in pubs occasioned, sustained, and disengaged from mobile device use during conversation with friends. Fundamentally, the work that is done consists of various methods of accounting for mobile device use, and displaying involvement in social interaction while the device is used. We highlight multiple examples of the nuanced ways in which interleaving is problematic in interaction, and relate our findings to the CSCW and HCI literature on collocated interaction. We conclude by considering avenues for future research, and discuss how we may support or disrupt interleaving practices through design to overcome the highlighted interactional troubles.



Collocated Interaction: New Challenges in ‘Same Time, Same Place’ Research

In the 25 years since Ellis, Gibbs, and Rein proposed the time-space taxonomy, research in the ‘same time, same place’ quadrant has diversified, perhaps even fragmented. The goal of this one-day workshop is to bring together researchers with diverse, yet convergent interests in tabletop, surface, mobile and wearable technologies, and those interested in the social aspects of interaction, such as conversation analysis and ethnomethodology. These communities have matured considerably, and produced significant exemplars of systems, methods, and studies concerned with collocated interactions. Yet, new challenges abound as people wear and carry more devices than ever, creating fragmented device ecologies at work, and changing the ways we socialise with each other. In this workshop we seek to start a dialogue to look back as well as forward, review best practices, discuss and design paper-prototypes using the collocated design framework, to consider how we might address new and future challenges through collocated design practice.

Joel E. FischerMartin Porcheron, Andrés Lucero, Aaron Quigley, Stacey D. Scott, Luigina Ciolfi, John Rooksby, and Nemanja Memarovic.

Workshop Website




Archival Papers

Andy Crabtree and Peter Tolmie. 2016. A Day in the Life of Things in the Home. In Proceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (CSCW '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1736-1748. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2818048.2819954

Stuart Reeves and Barry Brown. 2016. Embeddedness and sequentiality in social media. In Proceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (CSCW '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1050-1062. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2818048.2820008

Edward Anstead, Steve Benford, and Robert Houghton. 2016. MarathOn Multiscreen: Group Television Watching and Interaction in a Viewing Ecology. In Proceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (CSCW '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 404-416. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2818048.2820003

Lesley Fosh, Steve Benford, and Boriana Koleva. 2016. Supporting Group Coherence in a Museum Visit. In Proceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (CSCW '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1-12. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2818048.2819970

Peter Tolmie, Andy Crabtree, Tom Rodden, James A. Colley, and Ewa A. Luger. 2016. “This has to be the cats” - Personal Data Legibility in Networked Sensing Systems. In Proceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (CSCW '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 490-501. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2818048.2819992

Martin Porcheron, Joel E. Fischer, and Sarah C. Sharples. 2016. Using Mobile Phones in Pub Talk. In Proceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (CSCW '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1647-1659. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2818048.2820014


Joel Fischer, Martin Porcheron, Andrés Lucero, Aaron Quigley, Stacey Scott, Luigina Ciolfi, John Rooksby, and Nemanja Memarovic. 2016. Collocated Interaction: New Challenges in 'Same Time, Same Place' Research. In Proceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing Companion (CSCW '16 Companion). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 465-472. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2818052.2855522



Posted on Tuesday 23rd February 2016

Mixed Reality Laboratory

University of Nottingham
School of Computer Science
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

email: mrl@cs.nott.ac.uk